Thursday, May 17, 2012


 I am not complaining about the fact that more people in Russia and the United Kingdom have bought my enovels than in of New Zealand. Nor am I complaining about the total disinterest of Oamaru in the workshop on e publishing organised by Waitaki Writers recently. In fact I am not complaining at all about living here, it is what I chose to do. The convolutions of small town infrastructure are grist to a writer's mill, whether is be  murder,petty politics, or just eavesdropping on the uninformed gossip about celebrities as I wait in line at the supermarket.

But I am concerned about the e mail that popped into my in box this morning.

 For two years Oamaru Cinema has tried to interest Oamaru in the wonderful screenings of New York Metropolitan Grand Operas. The seasons are well publicised in a free booklet with great colour photographs. Operas are lengthy, Gotterdammerung takes six hours - so 3 o'clock on a Sunday afternoon seemed a perfect time. But over the last two years the attendance has not changed, the same 6 to 10 old faithfuls have attended. And we are old. Now Phil, manager at Oamaru World Cinema tells us that there will probably not be a 2012-13 season because the small audiences mean the operas are showing at a loss.

When I discuss it with Oamaru residents I get these excuses:-
'I'm not into Opera'
'Which ones have you seen?'
So how can  she know what opera is like?

"Oh it's too expensive."
The man who said that was wheeling a trolley full of Lion Brown cartons out of New World.
$28 is for the extended screening time - an Opera takes twice as long as an ordinary movie. And on screen we see and hear what people in New York pay huindreds of dollars per seat for.

'I was watching the Rugby on T.V.' Well maybe that is an excuse.

So it looks as thoiugh Oamaru will lose it's slot in the Metropolitan season. Smaller towns, like Geraldine and Petone will still have theirs.



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